Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hero Needs The Villian

While watching the a match between The Undertaker vs Hulk Hogan for the WWF title at Survivor Series 1991 it came to me that the most important element to creating a hero is a strong villain to oppose him. This concept not only applies to wrestling. In movies, comic books and video games there is no great hero without great opposition. Today's pro wrestling heros don't get over as much because there is not enough build up on the villains.

After watching Hogan in this match against Taker I realized how important they were too each other. The Undertaker needed a major hero to face off against and Hogan needed a larger than life villain that could possibly beat the unbeatable hero. This match was a big building block for the mystique of The Undertaker that helped kick his Hall of Fame career into high gear.

Hulk Hogan's career is largely based on the hero vs villain concept. For the early part of his career playing the conquering hero who did everything right against the forces of evil. From the inception of his push he was the strong American vs an Iranian bad guy in the Iron Sheik. From there he went on to face the largest athletes the WWF could provide such as Big John Stud and King Kong Bundy to put even a man big as Hogan in peril.

There were no enemies bigger than Andre The Giant the 8th Wonder of the world. He was facing a much larger athlete who was backed by the most cerebral manager in the world. This dynamic helped because it gave Hogan the usual impossible odds to face. Now for the most part of his career Andre was a face but to get over as a heel he brought in Bobby The Brain Heenan the most notorious heel manager of our time. Heenan was a constant thorn in Hogan's side through out his career and led many men in the ring to face him. The feuds where not as much about the wrestlers as it was the contempt Hogan and Heenan had for each other.

The Disgruntled Employee vs The Tyrant Boss

When it came to big time feuds in the history of professional wrestling is Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Vince McMahon. The hard working employee who is getting the screws stuck to him by his overbearing corporate boss. This is once again the easy concept to buy into. Most people in America are workers and have bosses at some level. We have all at one point have wanted to stick it to our boss is some way shape or form.

Fans tend to relate better to concepts that they easily understand. Since we were children the good fighting the bad has always worked. Since most of us identify ourselves as good we relate to cause of the hero. Even those of us who relate to the villain need to be able to find ourselves in that character.

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